Officials expect rise in participation

Tamena Evers in action during the Tattslotto Fiji Open Tennis Championship at Denarau, Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The officials of the Tattsloto Fiji Open Tennis Championship expect the numbers to grow for next year’s event as the travelling restrictions are lifted around the world.

This year’s Fiji Open has attracted 97 players down from 175 when the tournament was last held in 2019. Fiji Open Tennis Championship tournament referee David Smith said the numbers had dropped drastically this year.

Smith said there were lesser overseas participants.

“This year’s Fiji Open has been affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic, border restrictions and the uncertainty of travel,” he said.

“There are some international players here but not at the previous level. “But I would imagine that for the 2023 tournament, the big numbers will be back like previously.

“We are just using the grass courts this year because the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club synthetic courts are yet to undergo refurbishment.”

Smith has been officiating at the Fiji Open since 2003. He said his first involvement in the greater Oceania region was in Micronesia in 1990 as the referee for the Micronesian games.

“I’m going back there next month for the Pacific Mini Games in the Northern Marianas as an International Tennis Federation delegate,” Smith said.

“So we have a small team with Richard Breen and I and three others who have been coordinating and making all the arrangements for the Pacific Mini Games.”

The Fiji Open continues at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club Courts and the Nadi Sports and Social Club Courts today.

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